Portraits & Passages

Chapter 47


What is Fair to the Goose is Fair to the Gander

 There is a little of the storyteller in me. On one level that was exactly what Pam enjoyed about my company for we both could sit back from any given situation and analyze the  psychological dimensions of the parties in play. Except after a while she began to realize that she was not immune – that I could make the same judgments about her. For once she  perceived that I was puzzling together my own story from the pieces I recalled to her of those having crossed my path, it became clear to her that she would make an appearance, and she became alarmed.

Pam had used my loyalty to her as a defense. It had worked for a very long time. Back in the early 80’s she had taunted me as if I were vulgar to even consider it: “Go ahead and use my  name. It doesn’t matter to me.” And since then I have been involved with publishing and never anything concerning her. But recently her mother made clear to me: “A person looses  interest once their affections go elsewhere. They move on with their lives.”


A Spiritual Undertaking  -  A Godson Denied

This is my story. I can’t delete Pam Newhouse from its passages. She has had too large a role. And Chance, as if deliberate, has brought her around again and again making further entanglements and histories.

If she now has regrets for having ever let me in her life, it was she who compounded that mistake by making me godfather to her second son. But I suppose that has to do with the  mixture of contradictions that often lead Pisces’ fish to opposite purpose.

You would have thought she had known me well enough by the spring of 1982 to have accepted with understanding and comfort my artistic ambitions. She never did. She only pretended.

Perhaps in those early years when she was having her babies she needed my company. Her mother certainly had understood that Pam and I enjoyed a mutual sympathy towards the  other. For a few years my presence was welcomed and acknowledged as when Pam’s younger brother telephoned her one evening and finding she had my company responded:  “Oh, just family.” But that was short lived once the ebb and flow of her life settled. Then, she began her withdrawal.

The only problem was that mistake of my being named godfather to her son Joey. For though it implied no responsibilities towards me, there was a symbolic connection that she had  volunteered on me, and that I accepted. But as that role was announced and affirmed with no more ceremony than with my holding the infant boy in my arms, it had no other merit, aside  from Steve’s later casual acknowledgement, than what Pam would wish of it in the future.

Except, that view discounted how I should feel in this matter, which was exactly how Pam conducted her relations with me. And so she soon reduced that role to apparent  meaninglessness and amnesia. She failed to consider that my relationship with her son might find a function on a spiritual level if and when he wished for it. Even if that were doubtful at  this point in time, I am not relieved of that duty. I, at least, know that I am bound to it even if it’s unlikely that I would ever be put to the test.

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